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PACE Small Business Equity Program

PACE appreciates and values the contributions that small businesses make to our community. The diverse inventory, personalized services, unique experiences, and creative innovations that Boulder County’s small businesses provide are what make our community so special. Additionally, small businesses provide financial livelihoods for many community members and shape the cultural diversity of Boulder County. Small businesses account for the largest portion of Boulder County’s commercial inventory. For example, 88% of employers in the city of Boulder have fewer than 20 employees.

As our economy gets up and running again, we hope the PACE program can have a positive impact and contribute to your economic recovery efforts, particularly on your operations and operating costs.

New in 2020! We’ve created two special offerings to help our small businesses rebuild even better than before:

Through the available offerings, your business could operate more efficiently, save money, contribute to sustainability goals, and become more resilient. We know how busy you are and we’re here to help your sustainability initiatives and priorities become a reality.

Program Details and Eligibility

PACE incentives are awarded on a first come, first serve basis while funding is available. Applications for 2020 will be accepted through November 16, 2020 unless funds are depleted beforehand. Details on the Restaurant Equipment Grant as well as the Outdated Lighting Bonus can be found by clicking on the tabs below.

According to the Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey, food service and sale businesses are among the most energy cost burdened small businesses, consuming three times more electricity than the commercial average. This high energy use coupled with high operational costs make it even harder to replace equipment. In a pilot of this program in 2019, PACE found equipment manufactured in 1950 still in use! The PACE Restaurant and Grocery Equipment Grant helps small, locally owned food service businesses in Boulder County replace inefficient commercial restaurant and grocery equipment with brand new energy efficient models.

There are several substantial benefits to upgrading equipment. Some benefits include:

  • Saves money on energy bills
  • More reliable equipment
  • Less maintenance
  • Improved aesthetics
  • Improved workplace comfort
  • Safer food handling temperatures/decreased health risks
  • Reduction in energy use and greenhouse gas emissions

While there are many benefits to replacing inefficient equipment, PACE understands there are also many barriers, including:

  • Cost
  • Selecting the correct equipment
  • Time-including finding, vetting, and working with a vendor
  • Logistics of installing new equipment
  • Removal and proper disposal of old equipment

Through the Restaurant and Grocery Equipment Grant, PACE helps businesses remove barriers and provide an opportunity to enjoy the many benefits of new, efficie

nt equipment while contributing to your business’ and the community’s sustainability goals.

What is included in the grant? 

Through a competitive process, PACE negotiated discount pricing with Tundra Restaurant Supply, a local vendor, to equip eligible participants with ENERGY STAR certified restaurant and grocery equipment. The grant will cover up to 70% of the costs upfront. Additionally, PACE is covering up to 100% of costs associated with delivery and installation of new equipment as well as proper disposal of old equipment.

*Existing equipment must be manufactured in 2005 or earlier to qualify for a grant.

As part of the Restaurant and Grocery Equipment Grant, PACE will also assist your business with upgrading additional building equipment, including lighting. We will also identify opportunities for water conservation and waste reduction.

What types of equipment are included in the grant?

Existing equipment must be manufactured in 2005 or earlier. Please let us know if your equipment is currently not working and we will do our best to prioritize your application. New equipment must be powered by electricity (not natural gas). The following equipment types are included in the grant:

If you have equipment that falls outside the above and you would like your project to be considered for the grant, please fill out the exception section of the interest form.

If your small business has T12 fluorescent and/or incandescent lighting and you are not a restaurant or grocery store, you could qualify for a lighting grant to cover up to 70% of the costs. Participants must demonstrate financial need. Please fill out the interest form and a PACE advisor will contact you.

  1. Eligibility: Review the PACE Small Business Equity Program eligibility checklist to determine if you qualify to participate. If you do not qualify for the Small Business Equity Program, you likely still qualify for regular PACE rebates.
  2. Interest form: Complete and submit the interest form. Because this grant is based on financial need, please include your business’ revenue for May 2019 and May 2020 or June 2019 and June 2020. If your equipment is failing at this time, please detail this information in the interest form.  
  3. Advisor ReviewPACE advisor will contact you to review your interest form and gather additional details needed for the grant application.

Have questions? Contact us at 303-786-7223 or info@PACEpartners.com

HOW TO APPLY

The PACE Small Business Equity Program is available to Boulder County business owners who meet each of the following criteria:

  • Owner lives in Colorado. Minority-owned businesses are highly encouraged to apply
  • Business is located in Boulder County
  • Business has been in operation for a minimum of two years
  • Owner manages and/or works day-to-day operations and makes long-term decisions
  • Business pays utility bill
  • Total operating square footage is 2,000 square feet or less for restaurants and 5,000 square feet or less for all other business types

If you do not meet all the above criteria and would like to be considered, please fill out and submit the interest form and include detailed information in the exception request section.

  1. Eligibility: Review the PACE Small Business Equity Program eligibility checklist to determine if you qualify to participate. If you do not qualify for the Small Business Equity Program, you likely still qualify for regular PACE rebates.
  2. Interest form: Complete and submit the interest form. If your equipment is failing at this time, please detail this information in the interest form.
  3. Advisor ReviewPACE advisor will contact you to review your interest form and gather additional details needed for the grant application.

Have questions? Contact us at 303-786-7223 or info@PACEpartners.com

After you have contacted us, you will be connected with a PACE advisor who will work with you through the following steps:

  1. Equipment Quote: You will receive an equipment quote detailing the amount covered by the grant and the cost you would be responsible forAt your request, the quote can be revised. 
  2. Grant Application: If you would like to move forward with replacing equipment, your PACE advisor will help you fill out and submit the application along with all required forms.  
  3. Grant Award Notification: Within two weeks of submitting your application, PACE will notify you on the status of your application and potential grant. Grants are awarded on a first come, first served basis while funding is available. 
  4. Equipment Payment: Once you’ve been awarded a grant, you will have 30 days from the award date to pay for your portion of the invoice. If you need more time, please inform your PACE advisor. By paying your portion, the equipment order will be placed. Payment instructions are located on the invoice. PACE’s grant, the remaining portion of the project costs, will go directly to the service provider on completion of the work.
  5. Equipment Delivery and InstallationA service provider will contact you to schedule the delivery and installation of your new equipment as well as the removal and proper disposal of your old equipment. 
  6. Ownership & Maintenance: Once equipment has been installed, you own the new equipment and are responsible for ongoing maintenance. 
  7. Follow UpYour PACE advisor will follow up with you to see how the equipment is better serving you and your business. 
  • Grant funding is capped at $20,000 per business annually.
  • Existing equipment must be manufactured in 2005 or earlier to qualify for a grant.
  • New equipment must be powered by electricity (not natural gas) to be eligible for grant. Conversion of natural gas-powered equipment to electric equipment can qualify. However, costs associated with electrical work will not be covered in grant.
  • Old equipment must be removed and properly disposed of by the disposal service provider. As part of the grant, this equipment will no longer be operated or owned by the business or any other entity.
  • The total of all incentives (PACE Restaurant and Grocery Equipment Grant, Financial Hardship Lighting Grant, utility rebates, etc.) cannot exceed 70% of total equipment costs unless authorized by PACE.
  • Grants cannot be combined with PACE rebates.

As part of the grant application process, the following forms will need to be completed. Your PACE advisor will support you through this process.

Beneficiary Agreement

Together with the City of Boulder, PACE launched a pilot program in 2019 for small, locally owned restaurant and grocery stores. Pilot participants helped PACE identify the biggest barriers to overcome- upfront cost and equipment logistics.

Through the pilot, PACE offered increased financial incentives in the form of an up-front grant, rather than a retroactive rebate as well as a streamlined process for delivering/installing new equipment and properly disposing of old, inefficient equipment.

Pilot participants are now enjoying the benefits of new, energy efficient equipment that is already proving to save money on their monthly utility bills. A win-win for businesses and the environment!

The pilot in the City of Boulder was a huge success and PACE is thrilled to offer the grant countywide!

Rincon Argentino has been operating in Boulder for ten years and participated in the 2019 pilot program.

“We are a small family run business. We try to be as environmentally friendly as possible, but sometimes the steps we want to take are cost prohibitive. We have been wanting to replace our old inefficient refrigerators … but the cost has made it difficult. This program made the upgrades we wanted to complete possible. The expertise and time (from PACE) are as helpful to us as the financial impact.”

Do you have other ideas that could help your business become more sustainable? Let us know how we can help!
Contact PACE at 303-786-7223 or info@PACEpartners.com

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